The media, it seems, is always searching for the "next big thing" and these days it's anything that isn't "low-carb" - or at least isn't named low-carb! Funny thing - low-glycemic diets are controlled-carb and very often even low-carb. But let's not call it that, OK?
Back to the study data...
This was a nicely done study - controlled and randomized and even ad libidum (eat whatever and however much you want) for the low-glycemic participants. Researchers randomized participants into two groups:
- Low-Glycemic Group (LG) - allowed to eat anything they wanted from the low-glycemic foods list (energy intake averaged 40-45% of calories but was not specifically restricted from the start) along with 30-35% of energy from fat with the remaining calories fulfilled with protein, 20-30%.
- Low-Fat Group (LF) - calorie restricted to maintain a calorie deficit (200-500 calorie per day deficit), with no more than 30% of calories from fat, 55-60% of calories from carbohydrate and the remaining calorie requirements fulfilled with protein, 10-15%.
Do I need to tell you who did better?
The findings included:
- At 6-months the LG group lost 8.4% of their body weight; the LF group lost 7.8%
- At one-year, the LG group had maintained a loss of 7.8% of body weight; the LF group 6.1%
- The LG group showed significantly greater (P=0.005) mean decline in plasma triacylglycerols than did the conventional diet group (LG -37.2%; LF -19.1%)
- Mean plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 concentrations decreased (–39.0%) in the LG group but increased (33.1%) in the LF group (P = 0.004).
- Changes in cholesterol concentrations, blood pressure, and insulin sensitivity did not differ significantly between the groups.
So what does this mean?
The researchers concluded that the low-glycemic approach, in an ad libidum setting, "may be more efficacious than a conventional, energy-restricted, low-fat diet in reducing cardiovascular disease risk. "
As more evidence continues to mount, it is going to be harder and harder to ignore the efficacy of controlled-carb nutrition, which includes low-carb diets as an effective weight-loss tool.